Dutch count cost of winter damage

While UK growers adjust to early bud burst brought on by the mild, dry winter, continental growers are counting the cost of much harsher weather conditions.

"The total damage will run into tens of millions of euros," Dutch fruit growers organisation NFO said in a statement. Pears have been hit particularly hard, it added, with losses of 30 per cent or more in the provinces of Flevoland and North Holland.

"A number of growers will have no harvest at all," the NFO said, blaming not only bud loss but more critical damage to tree trunks. A mild early winter meant trees were not fully dormant when frosts hit in February.

Meanwhile, United Kingdom Vineyards Association deputy chairman Roger Marchbank is concerned about the effect of the warm winter on his grape crop.

"My vines have budded three weeks early. They have already seen one frost withmore likely before April is out - it's worrying," he said.


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